Category Archives: Karmic Astrology

Balsamic Moon * Mystery, Death, Rebirth

Each Moon Phase provides valuable insight into the Soul Plan as revealed in the Birth Chart. There is one Moon Phase, however, so dramatic in its impact that it often seems to be the major force behind the person’s entire Life Plan.

The Moon Influences All Life On Earth

The Moon has profound influence over life on Earth, probably in ways we don’t yet fully comprehend. We do know the great seas and oceans pulse in and out in accordance with Grandmother Moon’s rhythms, and it has been known since our earliest human origins that the Moon’s waxing and waning light shining down on Earth creates mini-seasons in life cycles for plant, animal and human life here on Earth. The Moon also apparently helps stabilize Earth’s axis, and there may be other influences we have yet to discover.

In the course of its monthly orbit (circle) of the Earth, the Moon goes through 8 distinct phases marked by how much light it is reflecting from the Sun:

New Moon, Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, Third Quarter, Waning Crescent also called the Balsamic or Dark Moon.

Each of these 8 phases equals 45 degrees of the Moon’s orbital Circle of 360 degrees which takes just slightly less than one of our calendar months to complete.

One Moon phase lasts 2 to 3 days per month and carries within it very particular energy making it a good “season” for certain pursuits and not so good for others. Gardeners are particularly aware of these seasons in the Moon’s orbit for the planting and growing cycles.

In each lifetime, we are born during one of these 8 Moon Phases, and, like other life on Earth, we seem to be affected, however subtly, by the unique energy of our Moon Phase. It is possible, though not actually known, that we incarnate in a sequence of lifetimes corresponding to the 8 Phases of the Moon. If we are born under the Balsamic Moon Phase in this lifetime, are we going to be born under a New Moon in the next lifetime?

Even if, as many now believe, our lifetimes may be simultaneous, it is likely there is still a bio-vibrational connection through Space-Time which allows a sequence to unfold, albeit in ways we cannot quite comprehend…

In the Birth Chart the Moon Phase is identified by determining how many degrees ahead of or behind the Sun our Moon’s position is found. Some Astrology software identifies this for us, but manually we can find the Moon Phase by counting backwards or ahead of the Sun through the Signs (30 degrees per Sign) to find our Moon.

Each Moon Phase provides valuable insight into the Soul Plan as revealed in the Birth Chart. There is one Moon Phase, however, so dramatic in its impact that it often seems to be the major force behind the person’s entire Life Plan.

I am talking about the Final Phase, the last Sliver of Silver – the Balsamic Moon, associated mainly with Winter, Scorpio, and Pluto along with Capricorn and Saturn. This Moon Phase affects people who have it in their birth chart more than any other Moon Phase I have seen.

There are charts which lay out the number of degrees between Sun and Moon for each of the 8 Phases, but for our purposes here a Balsamic Moon is one that is found between 0 and 45 degrees “behind” the Sun in the Birth Chart. This makes sense, because a Balsamic Moon is the last of the 8 Phases, before the Moon merges with the Sun to become a New Moon.

A Balsamic Lifetime

This is a lifetime in which large parts of the Karmic Web are dissolving. Our task is simply to accept this with grace and pure love. The Balsamic Moon is also the Shaman’s Moon.

Those born under it will be drawn to a spiritual path at some point in their lives, for only the inspiration of Higher Mind – and the guidance of the Higher Self – can make this life of Endings into a profoundly meaningful Journey.

The Balsamic Moon is almost invisible in the predawn sky, having faded to a slim murky crescent. Each month, for about three days before the New Moon, we all live under this Balsamic “Dying” Phase of the Moon…This is when we are most in tune with the Shamanic forces in Nature and within the Human Psyche. Make special time now, with your favorite incense, to commune…

Beginnings and Endings

With the Balsamic Moon, the first thing we notice is that Endings – of relationships of all kinds in particular – seem more plentiful than Beginnings. How can this be? The answer lies in the fact that Balsamic Moon people tend not to begin new relationships so much as they inherit them. This is not the lifetime for new relationships and one often has that odd feeling, on meeting someone: “You look so interesting, but not now, not yet, I have other things to finish and I have no room for you till I do“….

Other people, though, tend to arrive as if they had never left. They seem more like family, whether friends or lovers. These are the relationships that are not, apparently, optional; these we must attend to, and there so often is a sense of drama to the meeting, and as the relationship enters one’s life.

We may “inherit” a friend from our parents, or from another friend who then disappears, leaving us with the new acquisition which may or may not have been someone you would have chosen freely. Even jobs often arrive in a similar fashion, passed to us from another. Despite the Balsamic Moon person’s chosen career or jobs, other working and training opportunities seem to simply walk in and take over.

Like hand-me-downs, these friends, family, jobs, and “opportunities” are all (usually) received with gratitude but also a faint murmur of resistance, if not resentment,not recognized sometimes for many years. We may look back and think….”if I had to do it over again, I would have found a way to close the door….”

The Returning

As if it were not enough that we keep inheriting situations and people (and we eventually can see “old patterns” here), we also have a tendency to return – Returning to old jobs, old homes, old scenes, and old relationships, sometimes again and again. It takes awhile to notice that without such returns, there might have been little else to fill the gaps…The idea of Return is a powerful one, and as with so many of the mysteries in the life of the Balsamic Moon person, it yields some rich finds when excavated more thoroughly in time…

Karmic Work

One thing we can take for granted here. There is a deeply karmic nature to these connections – the Beginnings, Endings, and Returnings. That is what makes the Balsamic Moon Phase unique – it seems designed for a Soul to work almost exclusively on tying up loose threads of old, difficult situations. I have likened this Moon Phase to the Fourth and Final Age – the Dark Kali Yuga – for it seems to off similar karmic opportunities to humanity in the midst of what can seem like Dark Times…

Sometimes karma, like fruit, has to “ripen” before it can be properly removed from the Tree and processed. Not everyone involved incarnates at the same time, for example. When we do, we grab the first opportunity to meet and exchange what we need to – and sometimes that’s about all there is. This goes completely against the social grain, for we expect to cultivate and retain relationships – indeed there is very strong social pressure to do so or be deemed neurotic.

In light of many lifetimes, however, we can at least realize that there are many threads in the fabric we cannot see – and we need to simply trust the feeling; it will usually be mutual.

Planet Pluto * Ice, Mystery, Hidden

Scorpio and Pluto * Mystery and Deception

Just because a situation is karmic doesn’t mean it always ends “well” – at least in our limited view. The Balsamic Moon resonates to Scorpio, which, with its ruling planet Pluto, brings mysterious, death-like processes which cannot be intellectually grasped so much as simply lived through.

With the Balsamic Moon, we do not seem to ever really know what was really going on, either during the relationship or when it ended. Motives and activities of others may well remain hidden in a variety of ways, including deception on a grand scale of which we are blissfully unaware at the time.

We may wonder for years “Whatever was going on in that situation?” only to discover through a chance conversation out of the blue, years later, and with someone only marginally involved, a missing piece of the puzzle. ( In my case a DNA test inadvertently confirmed an old story that my Dad (long passed away) was not my biological father).

When we get these pieces dropped into our lives, we ponder the Past in new light and it can been enormously illuminating. We catch a glimpse of a Beginning, a possible Future. But even with the new piece, the puzzle remains incomplete, and even with karmic insights, we will never fully see the whole puzzle in its completed form.

The Tree of the Higher Self, Centre of Self in the desert we sometimes find to be life….

This is good – we begin to see we are not in charge, that we are not the creator of our lives in quite the way we may have been told or encouraged to think we are. We have to sit under the Tree, and ponder the roots, branches, and leaves of Life as a mystery in which we participate, yet are not sole Authors. So we gradually, reluctantly, learn to let go…

For with the Balsamic Moon, even when people, places and situations are gone, they remain behind as our Koans, the transformative devices in Zen Buddhism with which we wrestle intellectually and psychologically until, exhausted, a breakthrough occurs, and we rise above the opposites, outside the riddle, into a resolution which could never have been foreseen.

People, work and living environments remain unsettled and unsettling elements of our life Story until these magic moments, often years later, when we really can, unexpectedly, see forever.

Under the Balsamic Moon, our Life is designed to ensure that we get all that there is to learn, one last sip from the Cup, before it, and its special content, are laid aside forever. There is that feeling, so often, that one must make one last effort in the old relationship or situation. If we do, though, the outcome will seldom be success by any formulation; yet it seems hard, if not impossible, to shut the door on this person, or this job offer, on this old familiar landmark of one’s life, despite the previous disappointments from this quarter.

Gone With the Wind

Finally, though, there will come a time when leaving, or closing that door will seem like the right thing, and the only thing, to do. That may even turn out to be the real lesson – that it is okay to leave, to turn away, to turn down. Is that what the Shaman must learn – that we do not and cannot have the control so many deem the mark of material, psychological and spiritual success?

This would explain why the letting go of such fated entanglements is so very necessary, and so very hard. It feels like Death, and indeed, on many occasions, the person will actually die or the workplace will dissolve and close. A nation-state may end, one’s wealth may evaporate. As in the classic movie – its subtitle was “A civilization, gone with the wind…In these experiences, it feels as if a part of the Self has died, and there is an inner distress, a scramble to hold one’s Center, and then to see if one can rebuild from the parts that are left.

And all this seems inevitable, like the leaves falling from the trees in late October, like the great snows sheltering the land till the first faint breezes of Spring.

Yet there is another inevitability there to be sensed. Under a Balsamic Moon, we are creating our Future, and catch glimpses of it when we are in the Faerie, or fey moods which border on inspiration but also deep despair.

In our meditations, so necessary in a Balsamic Moon lifetime, we may often be “given” to see how pieces fit, how they are shaping us, and shaping another lifetime….We are rewarded, it seems, for keeping faith and working away at our lessons, for with time, we learn to see as we are meant to see under this Moon.

We must not be disappointed or feel like failures if we don’t seem able to get large new projects off the ground, or keep them afloat once we do. No energy is ever lost – all that work will fit nicely into new currents in other lifetimes. Or it may, in this lifetime, be carefully siphoned off, assigned to other “accounts” – of which we remain blissfully unaware – into which we need make payment….

For now, though, we surrender to what is here, in front of us, sitting at the Window watching the River roll on, going home to the Sea, carrying so many things from our lives. The River knows its destiny – what is leaving our lives is ready to leave.

When the River has gone, We will remain.

When those relationships and situations have disappeared from view, something new, which already feels very Old, will replace them, for a little while again.

To Every Thing There is a Season…Including Death

In a strange, haunting way, the Balsamic Moon prepares us, through many small deaths, for the Death we tend to fear, of the physical body and the familiar world around us.

The Balsamic Moon brings many gifts, Chief among these is the deepening of our perceptions, as we go through such deep Plutonic relationships, intense, short, and characterized by often strange or excruciating endings. We ponder the true meaning of Life in those times; we understand more and more that there are indeed Seasons, and among these is Winter.

It is a lifetime to develop patience, tolerance, faith, and love in the face of losses, and situations which could leave one feeling lost, without a Life Plan, left with mysteries and disillusionment. It is in coping with these that one grows strong, and at last, achieves an inner peace that is without price.

When we experience deaths under a Balsamic Moon, we are offered an entire lifetime of opportunity to come to terms with “letting go” and surrendering in absolute trust and openness to the Flow. Gradually, we get it, that control is not something we actually have, and more importantly, it is not something we need.

When it is time to leave the body, the person born under a Balsamic Moon will have had many rehearsals with Death and its mysterious purposes. We will have had many opportunities to make our peace in and with many Endings. Part of this is releasing those who leave our lives with blessings, holding them close to us in forgiveness and love, giving them all the space they apparently need. We too have needed the space, though we so often did not know why…

The Balsamic Moon teaches us that relationships are for learning, not for owning.

Shaman’s Moon
The Balsamic Moon can thus be understood also as the Shaman’s Moon. Those born under it will be drawn to a spiritual path early in life, for only the life of Mind and Spirit can make this life of Endings into a profoundly meaningful Journey.

Only through truly Shamanic healing can such individuals penetrate the depths of their own psyche, and surface with the strength to live another day. In the magically reflective Mirror of the Balsamic Moon, we see at last what is real. In our solitary reflections, we gradually transform in ways we could not have set out to orchestrate ourselves.

And though it can be a lonely lifetime, the Balsamic Moon fits well with the natural (and enforced) solitude of the Shaman. Despite its hardships, the Path under this Moon is the one the Shaman must travel, and this truth makes itself known very early in his or her life. It is possible that under a Balsamic Moon, one will revisits, remember, relive other lives as a Shaman, in Far Memory, so that this is a time of the Transitional Shaman, suspended between ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, Indigenous and Essential forms of Shamanism.

The Shaman encounters Death in all forms. Yet, in surrendering to Death, we surrender also to Life, and this seems, in the end, to be the secret Beginning.

© Carol Leigh Rice 2015 and 2016 and 2021.

Note:  Parts of this post have been copy/pasted into other posts or articles on the internet, despite the above copyrights. Please consult with me before doing this, or at least ensure that you attribute the material to Carol Leigh Rice, the author.

Spiritual DNA In The Birth Chart

Astrology and DNA

We are all familiar nowadays with AncestryDNA and tracing our ancestry in a living web of relationships. DNA, as a language and perhaps the code of creation itself, is a sacred mystery each of us carries within us.

There is another kind of DNA, just as importantThe task of the Karmic – and Spiritual – Astrologer is identifying some of the key Soul DNA patterns shown in the birth chart.  We help attune – even initiate – the client to the higher purposes and meanings within this lifetime. Seeing and naming are powerful tools in breaking out of negative patterns and finding new pathways for joyful self-expression.

And this kind of spiritual astrology can be undertaken by anyone who is willing to set out on the study of astrology as a personal tool of self-knowledge. There are books to help the beginner and lovely software to actually cast the chart and identify key points so that the journey of interpretation can begin very early.

Soul-DNA In the Birth Chart

Many of us are becoming familiar with exploring ancestral lines through our biological DNA sent off for testing. And the birth chart seems to be written in a very similar Soul-DNA, one which carries the coding of our Akashic Records.

These records hold, in vibrational form, all our thoughts, intents and deeds – a matrix of possibility out of which events in our personal and collective world emerge.

The Akashic Records have always been seen and described as the source of what we call Karma – relationships which arise out of our attachments to others, based on past experiences and choices. Reincarnation, coming back here to Earth, gives us opportunities to engage (and re-engage) with these people and to face experiences which test our learning.

Like our physical DNA, Soul-DNA is infinitely complex and capable of self-transformation as well as combining and recombining in new ways – like the elements of a language. It has actually been proposed that our physical DNA is not only a language complete with grammar (and a form of Spell-Check) but may be the Master language of the human race from which all of our spoken and written languages arose.

DNA is a language which resonates with symbols and archetypes of human personality and behavior which in turn are symbolized by the way the birth chart embeds all these patterns present in the heavens at the hour, day, month and year of our births.

In the many lifetimes we live, we build up spiritual and psychological tendencies within our “Soul-DNA” which then imprint upon and organize the DNA we select in the womb from both our parents. We choose from the available biological DNA those elements which match our most relevant, most active, Soul-DNA.”

In this way we choose elements which will set up certain frameworks for the working through of karma in general, but we also maintain psychic as well as physical links with our ancestral families and their descendants. We share with them stories containing group karma, and in working on our private stories/karma in this life, we are also helping contribute toward group development.

The Birth Chart seems to focus on the Soul-DNA most pertinent to this lifetime. This makes sense, because often our own karmic work has to fit in with that of many others who are being born into the same space-time framework that we have chosen.

In many cases, we are here to help complete or work through the karma of someone close to us – perhaps one or more parents, whether adopted or biological much can be done with the biological parents through spiritual connections and processes of psychological evolution). Indeed we have a special part of the birth chart which deals specifically with karma and the Ladder of the Family Tree going back into many generations.

When we understand the revelations of our birth chart, we have a much bigger picture as the context for the way our life has been unfolding. Our expectations of ourselves, our frustration when plans seem to stall, the way we seem to be picked up and placed in certain situations, the way we meet people in ways we could never have predicted – all these realities are prefigured – though not fated – in the birth chart.

These things are not “fated” because there are always choices in how we handle situations and these choices flow back into the matrix (or mix) of possibilities from which Karma arises.  It is like the great and vast DNA code we carry within our bodies – there is a possiby infinite number of combinations and choices in the way our DNA expresses itself.

Karma is what we need to learn, what is needed to provide balance, what we feel we owe another, and sometimes it is a destiny to which we are called – but in almost all cases of Karma, there is an element of Will, of Desire. Karma exists where we are still deeply attached by some inner cord of vibration, be it love, guilt, passion, interest, and so on.

Karmic ties can be built upon in positive ways – and the birth chart often shows pathways which achieve this.  Karma can be reduced, changed, and even eliminated sometimes through conscious changes in our inner universe. Seeing an old negative path, we can resolve to watch ourselves, to do the opposite of certain drives or pull, and so on.

Karma Dreaming * Advanced Shamanic Astrology